Friday, September 15, 2017

Fits and starts
I am sad to report that Gabry's wife Diana is really not feeling well. She is malnourished and her teeth are disintegrating due to a lack of calcium, so that Gabry has to return home to take care of little Paol while she is in the hospital. I have two bags of winter clothing ready for her because she is the same height of T (1.7 meters or 5 ft. 7 in.). Unfortunately, Gabry reports that she weighs only 39 kg (which is like 86 lbs). The whole thing is very sad, and we haven't heard of any job opportunities for him. 

In brighter news, I got to drop off some donations from Marina, a nice woman who is friend of a student of mine who has a daughter just a little bigger than Peace. She told me that she has set up a donation drive at her daughter's school, which is really wonderful. Peace was just waking up from her nap when I got there. She was in a great mood. Also there were some friends of Tina, a woman who does her hair and her daughter. I was surprised to see that Peace was thumping the very well behaved daughter, a lovely 7-year-old who was just playing on her own. Job explained to me that another little girl named Divine like to beat up Peace and so he taught her to defend herself. Unfortunately, now Peace has the wrong idea and thinks it is great fun to thump every big kid she can get her hands on. They will sort it out. 

I also saw Jennifer and Wisdom. Jennifer gave me the awkward task of calling to set up an appointment for Wisdom's circumcision. It is not standard procedure in Italy and is only free of cost if a doctor prescribes it for medical reasons. T is ashamed of me because I found this out by getting one of my students to call the hospital for me during the lesson. I feel okay about it, though, because what took her ten minutes to find out would have taken me five hours. We brought Jennifer a bag of clothing for herself and some toys and books for Wisdom. Come to find out that Wisdom is terrified of new toys. Hopefully, with time, he will come to love the little, batter-operated, biker dude who zooms around his house.

Today was T's first day of her last year in high school. She has been dreading it because she has to ask three professors for letters to support her college applications. Since it is a very unusual request in Italy, she has to request them in a very particular way. The deadlines are coming up, and the recommendations are obligatory. It is rare for professors here to write flattering things about their students or to have to brag about their schools in writing, and then there is also the issue of translating it all into English.

Last week we were invited to my student Mario's from the Very Much class a few years ago for a pizza dinner. As per usual here, he neglected to mention that not just his girlfriend, but his whole family would be there, that there would be a cooking demonstration and that we would be sampling eight kinds of pizza and focacccia that would make Rocky himself go into a carb coma. It was very sweet of them, and they gave us leftovers, which we in turn passed on to a very appreciative Gabry. This Saturday we will have another abbuffata of a feast at a dinner with the girls from the Ischia Vacation at one of T's friends' mothers. F and I will probably have to watch at least three Italian Fiction series just to have enough vocabulary to get through the appetizers. Wish us luck!

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